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More than 900 Mayo Clinic employees were diagnosed with Covid-19 in the Midwest over a two-week period

This represents about 30% of the total number of those who tested positive since March.

“Our employees are mostly injured due to community outreach (93% of employee injuries), and this affects our ability to care for patients,” Kelly Lockstein wrote in an email on Wednesday.

Throughout the Midwest, Mayo Clinic currently has about 1,500 employees with work restrictions related to either exposure to Covid-19 or diagnosis, Lockstein said.

The Midwest Mayo Clinic system consists of clinics, hospitals, and other facilities serving patients in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Midwestern states have taken a particularly hard hit in the latest round of increased Covid-19 cases – as the Minnesota governor announced new measures this week to help limit the spread of the disease and the Wisconsin governor declared a new state of emergency.

In Iowa, Gov. Kim Reynolds overcame her previous resistance to mask mandates and announced a new health order requiring masks at home, saying Hospitals have been pushed to the edge of a precipice due to the spread of the virus.

Like other healthcare systems, Mayo Clinic is not immune to the devastating effects of the epidemic.

“There are three things you need to take care of any patient,” said Dr. Amy Williams, executive dean of Mayo Clinic’s practice, in an update on Covid-19. this week. “Space, supplies and staff. Our biggest concern is the staff.”

Williams said employees are often exposed and infected with the virus in the community. She said that while some Americans may get tired of hearing safety measures such as wearing masks and washing hands regularly, it is important to continue to take these precautions as the virus continues to spread across the country.

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“We do this because we care about our communities,” said Williams in the update. “We don’t want families to get sick. We don’t want families to lose loved ones. We want everyone to be safe. We will get through this, but we need to be safe, we need to protect each other.”

“We need your help and we need it now.”

The sudden rise in the number of patients has already hit parts of the health system as other facilities prepare for what is coming.

In northwest Wisconsin, the Mayo Clinic Health System said last week that 100% of hospital beds were full.

“The public urgently needs to treat COVID-19 as a health emergency to prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed,” the health system said in a statement last week.

At the time, about 50% of ICU capacity was occupied by Covid-19 patients, the system said in a statement, adding that Covid-19 patients being treated in hospital usually stay about two to three times longer than others. Covid-19 patients.

“While we are temporarily deferring elective measures in order to provide beds for COVID-19 patients, the public needs to understand that we continue to care for groups of other patients as well as COVID patients – we remain open to trauma, emergency care, and urgent care needs while caring for COVID-19 patients as well.”

“We need your help and we need it now.”

Meanwhile, Williams said in a media briefing this week that Mayo Clinic is working to boost ICU capacity at Rochester, Minnesota Hospital, to be able to handle the increasing number of Covid-19 patients.

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She added that the system is expected to witness a jump in hospitalization rates during the next two to four weeks.

“We are still seeing an increase in the number of patients in our communities getting Covid-19. We continue to see this translates into more and more hospitalizations,” she said in a statement. Video update.

In the video update, Williams said they are also seeing more patients transferred from hospitals outside of the Mayo Clinic Health System.

“And it just tells us that hospitals elsewhere, in Minnesota, Iowa, Dakota, and neighboring states, are overwhelmed by this increase.”

CNN’s Kay Jones, Adrian Broadus, and Brad Parks contributed to this report.

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